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Edison Disc File – Wikipedia

Edison Disc File – Wikipedia

2023-10-26 14:34:37

Sort of phonograph file produced by Edison Inc. from 1912 to 1929

Edison Data emblem from 1910s sleeve

The Edison Diamond Disc File is a sort of phonograph record marketed by Thomas A. Edison, Inc. on their Edison Record label from 1912 to 1929. They have been named Diamond Discs as a result of the matching Edison Disc Phonograph was fitted with a everlasting conical diamond stylus for enjoying them. Diamond Discs have been incompatible with lateral-groove disc file gamers, e.g. the Victor Victrola, the disposable metal needles of which might injury them whereas extracting hardly any sound. Uniquely, they’re slightly below 14 in (6.0 mm; 0.235 in) thick.[1]

Early Diamond Disc information, exhibiting the thickness of every file and quantity stamped into facet.

Edison had beforehand made solely phonograph cylinders however determined so as to add a disc format to the product line due to the more and more dominant market share of the shellac disc information (later referred to as 78s due to their typical rotational velocity in revolutions per minute) made by opponents such because the Victor Talking Machine Company. Victor and most different makers recorded and performed sound by a lateral or side-to-side movement of the stylus within the file groove, whereas within the Edison system the movement was vertical or up-and-down, generally known as vertical recording, as used for cylinder information. An Edison Disc Phonograph is distinguished by the diaphragm of the reproducer being parallel to the floor of the file. The diaphragm of a reproducer used for enjoying lateral information is at a proper angle to the floor.

Within the late summer season and early fall of 1929 Edison additionally briefly produced a high-quality sequence of skinny electrically recorded lateral-cut “Needle Sort” disc information to be used on commonplace file gamers.

Historic background[edit]

1915 newspaper advert for the product.

The file business started in 1889 with some very-small-scale manufacturing of professionally recorded wax cylinder records. At first, expensive wet-cell-powered, electric-motor-driven machines have been wanted to play them, and the client base consisted solely of entrepreneurs with money-making nickel-in-the-slot phonographs in arcades, taverns, and different public locations. Quickly, some prosperous people who may afford costly toys have been clients, too. By the late Eighteen Nineties, comparatively cheap spring-motor-driven phonographs have been accessible and changing into a fixture in middle-class properties.[2] The file business boomed. On the similar time, the Berliner Gramophone Firm was advertising and marketing the primary crude disc information, which have been less complicated and cheaper to fabricate, much less cumbersome to retailer, a lot much less fragile, and will play louder than modern wax cylinders, though they have been of markedly inferior sound high quality. Their high quality was quickly drastically improved, and by about 1910 the cylinder was clearly shedding this early format war. In 1912, Thomas Edison, who had beforehand made solely cylinders, entered the disc market together with his Diamond Disc Phonograph system, which was incompatible with different makers’ disc information and gamers.

Uncommon traits[edit]

Like cylinder information, the sound in a Diamond Disc’s groove was recorded by the vertical technique, as variations within the depth of the groove minimize. At the moment, with the notable exception of Pathé Records, which used one more incompatible format, a disc’s groove was usually of fixed depth and modulated laterally, side-to-side. The vertical format demanded a wonderfully flat floor for greatest outcomes, so Edison made his Diamond Discs nearly one-quarter of an inch (6 mm) thick. They consisted of a skinny coating of a phenolic resin nearly an identical to Bakelite on a core of compressed wood flour, later additionally china clay, lampblack for colour, all in a rabbit-hide glue binder.[1] With very uncommon exceptions, all have been about ten inches in diameter, however they used a finer groove pitch (150 threads per inch, or “TPI”) and will play longer than lateral ten-inch information—as much as 4+12 minutes per facet.

Amongst their benefits over the competitors, they have been performed with a everlasting conical diamond stylus, whereas lateral-cut information have been performed with a ten-for-a-penny metal needle that shortly wore to suit the groove contour and was meant to get replaced after one use. A feed screw mechanism contained in the Phonograph moved the reproducer throughout the file on the required price, relieving the groove of that work and thus lowering file put on. This design was in response to the patent held by the Victor Speaking Machine Firm that states that the groove of the file itself is what propelled the reproducer throughout the floor of the file by way of the needle. The enjoying velocity for Diamond Discs was specified at precisely 80 revolutions per minute, at a time when different makers’ recording speeds had not been standardized and could possibly be as gradual as 70 rpm and even quicker than 80 rpm, however have been usually someplace round 76 rpm, leaving customers who cared about appropriate pitch to regulate the playback velocity for every file till it sounded proper. Above all, there was, and nonetheless is, basic settlement that the Diamond Disc system produced the clearest, most ‘current’ sound of any non-electronic disc recording know-how.

Though Victor‘s Victrolas and related file gamers couldn’t play Diamond Discs (at greatest, solely very faint sound can be heard, whereas the crude metal needle critically broken the groove) and Edison Diamond Disc Phonographs couldn’t play Victor or different lateral-cut discs, third-party suppliers got here up with adapters, such because the Kent adapter, to defeat this incompatibility, however usually with lower than optimum sound high quality.[3] The Brunswick Ultona, the Sonora, and the costly “Duo-Vox” phonograph made by the piano producer Bush and Lane have been the one non-Edison machines that got here from the manufacturing facility outfitted to play Diamond Discs in addition to Victor and different ‘needle-type’ information, together with Pathé’s sapphire ball stylus hill-and-dale format that used a vertical groove that was U-shaped in cross-section. Edison discouraged all such options by cautioning on a number of the file sleeves: “This Re-Creation shouldn’t be performed on any instrument besides the Edison Diamond Disc Phonograph and with the Edison Diamond Disc Reproducer, and we decline duty for any injury which will happen to it if this warning is ignored.”[4] The superb purpose for such discouragement was that Diamond Disc grooves have been too slender and fragile to propel a soundbox throughout a file floor, as lateral machines did; Edison’s exact mechanical feed system on the Disc Phonograph for its weighted “floating” reproducer changed that stress on its information.

See Also

Edison Data “Diamond Disc” label, early Twenties, that includes the Happiness Boys, Billy Jones, and Ernest Hare

Rise and fall[edit]

Diamond Discs loved their best industrial success from the mid-1910s to the early Twenties, with gross sales peaking in 1920.[5] Though they arguably had higher audio constancy, they have been dearer than, and incompatible with, different makers’ merchandise and in the end failed within the market. Not least among the many components contributing to their downfall was Thomas Edison’s insistence on imposing his personal musical tastes on the catalog. As an aged man who favored old style “coronary heart” songs and had varied idiosyncratic preferences about efficiency practices, he was more and more out of contact with a lot of the record-buying public because the Jazz Age of the Twenties bought underway. It was not till mid-decade that he reluctantly ceded management to his sons.

In 1926, an try at reviving curiosity in Edison information was made by introducing a long-playing Diamond Disc which nonetheless rotated at 80 rpm however tripled the usual groove pitch to 450 threads per inch through the use of an ultra-fine groove, reaching a enjoying time of 24 minutes per 10-inch disc (12 on all sides) and 40 minutes per 12-inch disc (these have been the one 12-inch Diamond Discs ever bought to the general public). A particular reproducer and modified feed screw mechanism have been required to play them. There have been issues with skipping, groove wall breakdown, general low quantity (about 40% of that of the common Diamond Discs), and a failure to use the format by releasing a restricted variety of discs. Solely 14 totally different Edison Lengthy Play discs have been issued earlier than they have been discontinued.

In August 1927, electrical recording started, making Edison the final main file firm to undertake it, over two years after Victor Records, Columbia Records, and Brunswick Records had transformed from acoustical recording. Gross sales continued to drop, nonetheless, and though Edison Diamond Discs have been accessible from sellers till the corporate left the file enterprise in late October 1929, the final vertically minimize direct masters have been recorded within the early summer season of that 12 months. Precedence had been redirected to introducing a brand new line of Edison lateral or so-called Needle Sort skinny shellac information, suitable with abnormal file gamers, however though their audio high quality was glorious this concession to industrial actuality got here too late to forestall the demise of the Edison Phonograph and Data Division simply someday earlier than the 1929 stock market crash.[6]

See additionally[edit]


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